skags (William Ed)

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Guth's tweet puts him in middle of political firestorm

It is a truly sad state when our wonderful Chancellor must cow tow to the Board of Regents and State Congressional members, who are Tea Party would be's, and take administrative action on a faculty member, to protect her University's funding. Only in Dorothy Land.

September 21, 2013 at 3:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: School surprise

Vertigo thanks for catching my Typo-$72,713.64.

Take a look at school boundaries http://www.usd497.org/ParentsandStude...

One example is the driving time from the Lake Villa area to Wakarusa Valley Elementary School (Lawrence Virtual School) verses driving time to Langston Hughes:

Time from Lake Villa to Langston Hughes was 5 min. and 57 sec. (I did not have to wait at either of the two stop lights).
Time from Lake Villa to Wakarusa/Lawrence Virtual School was 5 min. and 58 seconds. (There are no stop lights)

None of the areas suggested would be within the 2.5 mile area about which you are concerned.

As far as fuel consumption is concerned the buses currently run from all parts of the district to the schools being used. By using existing facilities such as Wakarusa, Centennial, and East Hills there would be opportunities for children to safely walk.

Sunflower, Langston Hughes, Schwegler, and Broken Arrow all have large elementary class sizes. Redrawing the Broken Arrow boundary would move many children to Wakarusa Valley Elementary. Before the BOE closed Wakarusa, approximately 70 additional students needed to be added to the Wakarusa enrollment to make it match the number of students at New York. For example, there are that many in the Lake Villa area plus the area to the southeast of Kashold and Bob Billings. The Administration would have to provide the exact numbers.

As can be seen from the boundary map, it would not be difficult to ease class sizes at Broken Arrow, Schwegler, Sunflower and Langston Hughes by utilizing the Wakarusa facility, and I might add “at a cost savings.” By using the Centenial facility, additional classrooms would not be needed at Cordley.

The effects of class size are well recognized, especially for elementary students. The district is doing the students and the teachers a great disservice with large class sizes.

http://www.usd497.org/consolidation/d...

Bond funds in the amount of $9 million plus are to make Sunset Hill a mega school. If half of that money was used to improve Sunset Hill, that would leave $4.5 million plus to accomplish work on any or all of the three existing facilities, or not spend it. Now that’s a novel idea.

September 16, 2013 at 9:43 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Editorial: School surprise

There are a couple of misconceptions in the above comments.

One, the Wakarusa facility could be utilized at no change in "time on the bus," but since not very many people are fully familiar with the travel times in that area (no one is thinking about busing children from Deerfield), it should be pointed out that there are many pickup points on the south side of town, from which the time to get to Wakarusa is actually shorter than the time that it takes to get to the schools which they now attend. Dr. Doll refuses to acknowledge this fact. An example is the area at the junction of Clinton Parkway and Hwy. 10. For those kids to go to Langston Hughes takes longer that it would take them of drive across the dam. The same is true of the areas at the junctions of Kashold and 31st. In the past the kids from the area to the west of the Movie theater went to Wakarusa. The time on the bus for those students to go to Schwegler is a little longer.

Myth number two. When you build a new school at Sunset Hill, which is de facto what is being done, it will require busing the kids from Quail Run to that school to fill it up. Apparently the reason for doing this is to relieve the crowding at Langston Hughes. As pointed out, this could have been done by using the Wakarusa facility. If there is crowding on the east side, an alternative would obviously have been to reopen an existing facility if additional room was really needed, such as Centennial or East Hills and redraw boundaries to accommodate the schools.

Because of the unpredictability of birthrates, new facilities can't be constantly built to accommodate every annual perturbation. As a community we must learn to understand that using our existing resources is the only way that we are going to be able to provide funding for education within available resources. Just because you have a line of credit for $92.5 Million, doesn't mean that it MUST be spent.

The monthly payment on a $12,000,000 loan is $72,713,639. You can run a lot of busses for that kind of money, with a little left over for picnics in the park for any disgruntled parents.

September 12, 2013 at 12:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board approves expansion plan for elementary schools

The Oracles that look down from above must be scratching whatever they scratch, as they watch the USD 497 Carnival Shell Scammer shill the rubes one more time. Let's see, the district is short of classrooms. I guess the buildings that used to be elementary schools at East Heights, Centennial and Wakarusa didn't really have classrooms, they were unfinished shells or storage areas or whatever. Therefore they could not be used for classrooms, without being refurbished. But then wouldn't the district rather build a new school, like Sunset Hill with it's 14 new classrooms at an estimated cost of $9.3 Million plus the 3 new classrooms and six shells; that seems like a whole new school, but I guess it really isn't. We can't change the boundaries now to use the facilities that are available, BUT in the future we may have to change boundaries so we can justify building new schools.

"That means if those schools continue to grow, officials will have to consider either adjusting attendance boundaries or building additional schools.

We may have to look at how to accommodate growth in other ways," board vice president Shannon Kimble said.

Sounds to me like the scammer telling the shill how we are going to become ventriloquists so we can learn to speak from both sides of our mouths.

September 10, 2013 at 7:25 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: Local taxpayer shows interest in school budget

It is interesting to note that the technology enhancements which will cost the district many $$$'s and are "vitally" needed because the current equipment will not support the demand, have not been installed yet. However, blended learning is in full force at several schools, and each student will have a computer which will challenge the capacity of the school's system. That hasn't delayed the start of blended learning. One has to wonder if there really is a need for the expenditure, or if the schools can not handle the demand, is blended learning premature?

August 23, 2013 at 10:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence students outperform state on ACT exams

The above comments are germane, however, it is interesting that LHS scored more poorly than Free State. Is that because the teacher pay is lower? Since only the students that take the ACT are the ones who are interested in pursuing more advanced education, it would seem that the cohort of students from both schools would be equal. The only thing that is different then is the quality of teaching. That seems to me to have an odor to it that no one wants to smell.

August 23, 2013 at 9:56 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

School district explains large cushion in capital outlay budget

The truth is whatever the beholder wants to remember and forget. If the district spent all the funds it a had and left no reserve, there would NOT be an emergency if a boiler broke or a roof failed. All the district would do is go to a local bank and take out a loan to cover the costs. I guess that fact is overlooked. If no one else remembers I would remind them that when the district needed an additional $9.5 million for the football complexes and there weren't funds available, that is exactly what they did. They are still paying off that loan at an interest rate of around $4.5%. See every mouth has at least two sides.

August 20, 2013 at 2:21 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board adopts $148.8 million budget

A "budget" is a plan for the accomplishment of programs related to objectives and goals within a definite time period, including an estimate of resources required, together with an estimate of resources available, usually compared with one or more past periods and showing future requirements. (Smith, Robert W. and Thomas D. Lynch. (2004) Public Budgeting in America. 5th Edition. Pearson;Upper Saddle River, New Jersery. 37)

Please note the words "plan" and "objectives and goals."

Businesses have what are called "Sales Forecasts." That is a SWAG as to how well your business's products will sell, i.e. a guess about the future.

August 13, 2013 at 9:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board adopts $148.8 million budget

A "budget" is a plan for the accomplishment of programs related to objectives and goals within a definite time period, including an estimate of resources required, together with an estimate of resources available, usually compared with one or more past periods and showing future requirements. (Smith, Robert W. and Thomas D. Lynch. (2004) Public Budgeting in America. 5th Edition. Pearson;Upper Saddle River, New Jersery. 37)

Please note the words "plan" and "objectives and goals."

Businesses have what are called "Sales Forecasts." That is a SWAG as to how well your business's products will sell, i.e. a guess about the future.

August 13, 2013 at 9:17 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board adopts $148.8 million budget

Interesting. Does anyone else think the district does things backwards? They pass the budget and then decide on a plan. Most real businesses do it the other way around, they set out the goals, then formulate a plan to meet the goals, and then develop the budget that will be needed to accomplish the plan. Oh well, what's new?

August 13, 2013 at 1:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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